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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

eSchool News and the Current Site of the Week Online

Here's what's new on eSchool News site today.

Top News

‘Benchmarking for Success' says state education leaders can learn from other nations

In a report titled "Benchmarking for Success," high-level state officials call for action to ensure that American students are globally competitive. Education leaders, the report advises, should renew the focus on international benchmarking and look toward other countries for help in drafting state achievement standards.
The report's advisory group, which consisted of governors, state education commissioners, business executives, researchers, and other officials, identified five transformative steps the U.S. education system should take to produce more globally competitive students. The group was convened by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve Inc.
Here, according to the report, are the five steps American education should take to produce more globally competitive students:

1. Upgrade state standards by adopting a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts for grades K-12.

2. Leverage states’ collective influence to ensure textbooks, digital media, curricula and assessments are aligned to internationally benchmarked standards and draw on lessons from high-performing nations.

3. Revise state policies for recruiting, preparing, developing, and supporting teachers and school leaders to reflect the 'human capital' practices of top-performing nations and states around the world.

4. Hold schools and systems accountable through monitoring, interventions, and support to ensure consistently high performance, drawing upon international best practices.

5. Measure state-level education performance globally by examining student achievement and attainment in an international context to ensure that students are receiving the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

Related links
Benchmarking for Success
National Governors Association
Council of Chief State School Officers
Achieve Inc.

Note to readers:
Don't forget to visit the Measuring 21st-century skills resource center.
Graduates who enter the workplace with a solid grasp of 21st-century skills bring value to both the workplace and global marketplace.
Measuring 21st-century skills

Current Site of the Week

Free Microsoft curriculum encourages students to be good 'digital citizens'

Students interact with music, movies, software, and other digital content every day—but many don’t fully understand the rules surrounding the appropriate use of these materials, or why this should even matter. To help teach students about intellectual property rights and encourage them to become good “digital citizens,” software giant Microsoft Corp. has unveiled a free curriculum that offers cross-curricular classroom activities aligned with national standards.
The Digital Citizenship and Creative Content program was designed for students in grades 8-10 but can be adapted for use in grades 6-12, Microsoft says.
In one unit, students are given a scenario in which a high school sponsors a school-wide Battle of the Bands. A student not involved in the production decides to videotape and sell copies of the show to students and family members.

Source: eSchool News

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Smart phones and other ultra-portable devices represent the future of ed tech by Meris Stansbury

Using smart phones and other mobile devices for learning isn't just a trend, but rather a sustainable approach to educational technology that can adapt to future assessments and help raise student test scores significantly, said presenters at the first-ever Mobile Learning Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 17.

This image was part of 'Towards the m-portfolio' presented at ePortfolios 2007, Oxford.

Year after year, when students are asked on our Speak Up Survey what they'd most like to have, I get the same answer," said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, a national education group that publishes the largest annual survey of student, parent, teacher, and administrator attitudes toward school technology.
"I hear: I want a laptop," Evans said.

"To put it simply, there are three points to mobile learning," said Elliot Soloway, a professor at the University of Michigan who has developed software for smart phones that allows them to be more like personal computers.
Soloway's three points are that mobile learning is...

1. Big: By combining the main functions of a PC with the resources of the internet in an ultra-portable device, smart phones and other mobile devices truly give students the ability to practice "anytime, anywhere" learning

2. Sustainable: Because most students will already have a cell phone or mobile device, parents can buy the technology for their kids, and schools can purchase only the software. Also, students prefer handheld technology to laptops because it's more portable. At the same time, handheld devices, software companies, and educators are creating programs to help implement mobile devices into the curriculum.

3. Able to provide unique opportunities, especially for interaction through blogs and academic-related text messaging.

Soloway and his team of researchers have developed a software suite that transforms smart phones into virtual PCs. The Mobile Learning Environment, which is being tested in a Texas elementary school, gives students a handheld platform that duplicates many of the educational features of a PC, including the ability to map concepts, do internet research, use animation, and run versions of Microsoft Word and Excel.

Related links
M-learning (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Mobile Learning Conference
Project Tomorrow
Elliot Soloway
“Project Uses Cell Phones as Computers in the Classroom”
Keller ISD mobile learning project
Project K-Nect
Wireless Reach project
Onslow County Schools
SOTI MobiControl
The Greaves Group
Consortium for School Networking
Keller's Trinity Meadows Intermediate School fifth-graders use cellphones as classroom computer by KATHERINE LEAL UNMUTH

Additional resources:
IAmLearn (International Association for Mobile Learning)
OER Commons (Open education resources)
ISTE SIG Handheld Computing

Source: eSchool News

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How To Go to Harvard for Free by Farhad Manjoo

Over the last few months, I've been trying to educate myself on our financial crisis. To that end, I dropped in on a class at Yale that examined real estate finance and the roots of the federal government's involvement in the mortgage industry.

I've got lots of free time, so why stop learning? I sat in on an instructive lecture by David Swensen, the whiz who manages Yale's endowment, about strategies for investing over the long term. A few days later, I attended a class taught by Harvard's Larry Summers, who's now an economic adviser to President Obama.
Summers was arguing that macroeconomics in the next century will be shaped more by financial crises than by the business cycle—or something like that. I can't really say because he was pretty dull, and I discreetly walked out; instead, I visited Princeton economist Alan Blinder's lecture about the origins of the financial mess, which was far snappier.

He is Slate's technology columnist and the author of True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society.
You can e-mail him at

Source: Slate

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The schedule for the February/March Innovate-Live webcasts

Innovate-Live webcasts, produced as a public service by our partner,ULiveandLearn, allow you to synchronously interact with authors on the topics of their articles.

You may register for the February/March webcasts at
Webcasts will be archived and available in the webcast section of the article and in the Innovate-Live portal archive shortly after the webcast.

All times are New York time. You may use the world clock at to coordinate with your timezone.


February 23, 2009

1:00 PM Eastern
H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives toDigital WisdomAuthor: Marc Prensky
See more...

5:00 PM Eastern
What's Wrong with Copyright: Educator Strategies for Dealing withAnalog Copyright Law in a Digital World
Authors: Patrick McGrail and Ewa McGrail
See more...

February 26, 2009

1:00 PM Eastern
Learner-Interface Interaction for Technology-Enhanced Active Learning
Authors: Neelu Sinha, Laila Khreisat, and Kiron Sharma
See more...

4:00 PM Eastern
Integrating Digital Learning Objects in the Classroom: A Need forEducational Leadership
Authors: Annick Janson and Robin Janson
See more...

Innovate-Ideagora Webcasts

In addition to the webcasts with Innovate authors, Innovate Ideagora editors Alan McCord and Denise Easton will conduct a number of open access Ideagora webcast interviews in the Innovate Live Portal at on March 25, 2009.
The interview schedule is below:

1:00 PM Eastern
Nibipedia Makes Video Even Cooler for Education!
Interview with Nibipedia's Troy Peterson

2:00 PM Eastern
Ideagora Mash UpDenise Easton and Alan McCord

3:00 PM Eastern
Can the CrowdSPRING Model Help Education?
Interview with Crowdspring's Ross E. Kimbarovsk

6:00 PM Eastern
Avatars Turn Corporate Training Around
Interview with iClone's Miriam Scurrah

All interviews are described at

Source: Innovate

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An eBook From Atomic Learning: Seven Steps to a Flat Classroom

I wanted to let you know about a free e-book which is now available.
The e-book, The Seven Steps to a Flat Classroom is based on a tutorial series by Vicki Davis. Vicki also graciously contributed a preface to the e-book.
Senior Marketing Specialist, Emily Lachinski writes, "the additional two parts of the e-book will be releasing in the coming weeks. They will also be free.

We can now work with almost anyone, any place, and at any time – and our classrooms should reflect that. The flat classroom is about introducing our students to the world in safe, meaningful ways that will enrich and augment the things that are already working in our schools.
This e-book is based on an Atomic Learning workshop developed by Vicki Davis, who has been recognized for her innovative use of the Web in the classroom.

Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis are actively authoring a book to be published within the next year about the amazing Flat Classroom™ projects and you may follow this on her blog, Cool Cat Teacher or their website They have many projects now that operate on a year round basis and also mentor as much as we can.

Related link

Source: Atomic Learning

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Atlantic Link Wins 10th Award - Best Rapid E-Learning Publisher at Training 2009 Shootout in Atlanta

Atlantic Link is delighted to announce their win in the Rapid e-learning Publishing shootout at Training 2009 in Atlanta. Training Magazine and Bryan Chapman, Chief Learning Strategist, Chapman Alliance LLC, hosted the event.

For the shootout, audience members observed the power of real-time collaboration in rapid development. The teams in this part of the competition showed the audience how content coming from multiple sources could be quickly organized into production-ready courses. In fact, the competitors imported learning activities created in the previous Shootout (held one day earlier) to augment their courses, successfully demonstrating interoperability among rapid content developers.
"I'm sure it was the fact that we built the course live on a web server and collaboratively added third party content - that won us the competition. We started from scratch and within 8 minutes the course was live on our web server.
The course was built in less than 10 seconds using the quick start wizard. I uploaded PowerPoint, Captivate and Raptivity content directly into the course while my colleague Thom Tate (who was sat in the audience) added in YouTube video, a live webcam feed and a complete Rolling Stones mp3 file."

Related link

About Atlantic Link
Atlantic Link provides the world's most advanced rapid eLearning collaboration tools. Content Point is the first truly server-based, rapid e-learning tool for collaborative, remote course authoring. The aim for the company is to develop leading-edge development tools that elevate the practice of collaborative rapid e-learning development.
With the Atlantic Link software, anyone who can use a computer can create stunning e-learning and unleash the knowledge locked within themselves and their organizations.
For more information, visit:

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Keller's Trinity Meadows Intermediate School fifth-graders use cellphones as classroom computer by KATHERINE LEAL UNMUTH

First came desktop computers. Then laptops. Now, some argue the cellphone will eventually reign supreme as the preferred classroom computer.

Marina Romanyuk (left), Amy Herman and Christina Mai (right) aren't text-messaging their friends on these cellphones. They are using them for their classwork.

At Keller's Trinity Meadows Intermediate School, a class of fifth-graders already is testing that theory. On a recent morning, the children sat in groups, gripping phones as they rapidly punched buttons and stared into tiny screens.
"Laptops are oh so '90s – they're your parents' generation," said Elliot Soloway, a University of Michigan professor who created the software that the students are using. "While every kid does need a computer, the computer that will happen on will be cellphones. The cellphone is now as important as a pair of shoes or a coat."

Source: Texas Cable News

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

OnPoint Digital Offers New CellCast Mobile Library

OnPoint Digital, Inc., a leading e-learning and mobile solutions provider, announced today their newest mobile offering-the CellCast Mobile Library. This innovative content library provides just-in-time access to helpful, thought provoking content from well known business and thought leaders - formatted in short segments designed for cellphone playback. Users can access the content collections online from their computers, by downloading the content to their smartphones, or by listening to the content in podcast format via virtually any mobile phone. Access the new Mobile Content Library at

Organizations are constantly seeking new ways to take better advantage of the explosion of cellphones and smartphones in use by today's mobile workforce to more quickly and effectively communicate with their team, extend learning opportunities, and enhance job performance. The CellCast Mobile Library offers hundreds of titles in a variety of formats-from high-res or steaming video to standard podcasts, animated slide presentations and even via phone-in audio from any touchtone-capable phone.

About OnPoint Digital, Inc.
OnPoint Digital, Inc. is an eLearning and mobile solutions provider dedicated to the development of powerful yet affordably priced online learning and performance management tools for middle market and enterprise customers. OnPoint offers a full-featured LMS/LCMS software suite, enabling the creation and management of rich-media courseware, online assessments, appraisals, skills tracking and detailed reporting, plus numerous optional modules such as integrated document management, e-commerce, and portal/intranet offerings.

OnPoint's innovative and award-winning CellCast Solution allows companies to easily create, deliver and track mobile content and assessments directly to users' mobile phones. The software delivers 1 and 2-way messaging and podcasts to any standard cellphone. For more advanced smartphones, the solution also enables the delivery of mobile web content, text and PDF files, videos/podcasts and animated PowerPoint content. Supported smartphone devices include BlackBerry Wireless Handhelds, Apple iPhones, and Windows Mobile devices. Content can be accessed "over-the-air" or automatically synced to the preferred mobile device.

Perfect for just-in-time training, learning reinforcement, surveys, and marketing updates -- OnPoint's CellCast Solution helps organizations leverage their investment in cell phones and monthly plans by better utilizing an employee's time while mobile, and by making the knowledge they need available, where and when they need it most.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates! Launches Live Online Classes, a rapidly growing online education community and marketplace, has launched eduFire Classes, a new service that makes live online group classes available to the public.
Classes are currently being offered on the site in subjects such as foreign language learning, exam prep and computer programming.

eduFire Classes allow teachers to reach a global audience and students to learn in an interactive group setting. Teachers use a combination of live video instruction via webcam, whiteboards, presentations and text and voice chat to interact with students. Classes can be offered free or a fee can be charged.“More than ever in this economic climate people are looking to sharpen their skills and expand their education”, says Jon Bischke, eduFire’s Founder and CEO. "We feel that the eduFire Classes service is the most convenient and cost-effective way for students to learn and the most flexible online platform for teachers."

About eduFire
We have a simple (but not easy) mission: Revolution education.
Our goal is to create a platform to allow live learning to take place over the Internet anytime from anywhere.
Most importantly...for anyone. We’re the first people (we know of) to create something that’s totally open and community-driven (rather than closed and transaction-driven).
We’re excited to create tools for people to teach and learn what they love in ways they never imagined possible.
If changing the world is your thing and you’re as passionate about education and learning as we are, please get in touch.

Related link
The eduFire Blog


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Meet and Train Launches Online Speed Reading Course

Meet And Train ( announced today the launch and general availability of a first of its kind eLearning computer based course designed to rapidly improve reading speed and comprehension.
Titled “Rev It Up Reading: Getting Up to Speed With What You Read.”, the course is available for immediate purchase and a free demo at

Rev It Up Reading is the brainchild of Abby Marks Beale, principal of The Corporate Educator. Marks Beale is a noted speaker and the author of several publications including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading”, “10 Days to Faster Reading”, “Success Skills: Strategies for Study and Lifelong Learning”. She also taught “Speed Reading: Read More in Less Time” for three years as an online course for Barnes and Noble University.

About Meet and Train
Meet and Train ( is an e-learning solutions provider that offers Internet based educational programs that are highly effective, efficient and affordable for most businesses. Through its various strategic alliances, Meet and Train’s service offering includes Custom Content Development, Off-The-Shelf Content, Virtual Classroom, Virtual Meeting Software and Learning Management Systems.
Meet and Train’s systems are customized for each client, by industry, depending on their unique training needs and requirements.

About The Corporate Educator
Abby Marks Beale is the founder of The Corporate Educator ( and specializes in helping busy people work smarter, faster and just plain better.
Since 1988, Abby has developed well-received, content-rich training and speaking programs that reduce workplace stress through the knowledge of skills.
Abby Marks Beale

Related link
Demo of Online Course

Getting up to speed with what you read.
Online speed reading course with Abby Marks Beale

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates! - Video Based E-courses

The 845 club is a solution aimed at the ones who wish to pick up business knowledge but don’t really have a lot of time on their hands to attend courses or seminars in the physical world.

What this service does, then, is let them choose a course from the many on offer and have the lessons delivered straight to their inboxes in the form of video tutorials. Moreover, materials such as PDFs, e-books and downloadable documents are duly included. By way of example, some of the available courses go by names such as “IT Secrets For Marketing Managers”, “Custom eLearning For Your Audience” and “The Art Of Account Management”. Further courses include “Leadership competencies” and “Small Business Growth”.

About The 845 Club
The 845 Club and its courses are brought to you by the Being Smarter network.
“Our mission is to inspire business people to take the challenge of improving their business performance and to provide the tools in different niches to do it.”
Mark Copeman, the editor has been working in radio and video, in sales and marketing functions and with people in both large and small businesses for the last 15 years.
He has been working extensively in the marketing and elearning arenas for the last 8 years, starting up and selling his share in a marketing agency, specialising in helping sales and marketing people get the most out of selling and demonstrating their products.
Many of these projects were video-based and the company created a ‘Virtual Expert’ concept of canning subject matter experts.
He has continued to build on this concept with The 845 Club and has worked with a number of CEOs and subject matter experts to put together the courses you see available today.
Mark is available to speak at your event with one of his various “How to… top 10’s” in business - 30 mins of practical tips in various business disciplines which you can take and use to make a real difference immediately.

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Previous and Current Site of the Week

Previous Site of the Week - Wed, Feb 11, 2009

New online game brings a fresh approach to learning middle-school math

Maryland Public Television, in collaboration with MIT’s Education Arcade and educational media producer FableVision, has applied the latest research in game theory and design to produce a free learning tool to help all students learn pre-algebra concepts regardless of their math ability.

“Lure of the Labyrinth” is an online middle-school math game developed to reach today’s tech-savvy students in a contemporary way. Using the immersive characteristics of digital games, it blends a compelling storyline with multi-level puzzle play to build pre-algebra skills in proportions, fractions, and ratios; variables and equations; and numbers and operations.

Current Site of the Week - Mon, Feb 16, 2009

New media-education program targets parents

Common Sense Media, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to improve the impact of media and entertainment on kids and families, has introduced a free media-education curriculum aimed at parents.

The program—which the organization calls the first of its kind—offers resources that address parents’ questions and concerns about television, movies, the internet, gaming, and more, giving schools the tools they need to run an effective media-education program for parents and faculty. “Kids today spend more time with media than they do in school or with their parents,” said CEO and founder Jim Steyer. “Parents need help sifting through the information about media use, and they often turn to their child’s school for advice.

Source: eSchool News

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Learn More About m-Learning in 9 Minutes

Ben Bonnet recently created a mobile learning presentation for his company.
Please have a look below:

There are some mobile learning examples and some resources for you to view if you so choose. The whole thing is about 9 minutes, so you can learn more about mobile in a short break. I hope you find this valuable.


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UC San Diego Alumni Association Launches New "AlumnIDea" Social Networking Website

Violet Mae Lim has been in touch to reminds us about The University of California, San Diego new alumni social networking website at

The UC San Diego Alumni Association, working with Heavybag Media, has designed the "AlumnIDea" site to encourage interactive feedback on alumni programs such as reunions, career services and social events. UC San Diego is the first university to use this type of "crowdsourcing" platform for alumni feedback.
Alumni can submit their ideas to the Alumni Affairs office via the site; each idea can then be voted on by other UC San Diego alumni. The most popular ideas will be aggregated into a top ten section which are then considered for implementation by alumni leadership. The site offers a creative way for graduates to connect with their alma mater in an interactive environment, utilizing web 2.0 technology to help build a stronger alumni network.
"UC San Diego recognizes the importance of leveraging social networks to hear from our more than 125,000 alumni," said Armin Afsahi, assistant vice chancellor of UC San Diego Alumni Affairs and executive director of the UC San Diego Alumni Association. "Our mission is to help engage alumni with the university. AlumnIDea offers a fantastic new way for UCSD graduates to give feedback and help shape future alumni programming."
"AlumnIDea is a great example of an interactive communication platform for alumni to voice their opinions and share their ideas. Other universities could benefit from using social media to crowd-source ideas through their students and alumni," said Becky Carroll, Director of Social Media at Brickfish and author of the blog, Customers Rock (
For more information, visit

About the UC San Diego Alumni Association
The University of California, San Diego, ranked the 7th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, is one of the nation's most accomplished research universities, widely acknowledged for its local impact, national influence and global reach.
The UC San Diego Alumni Association, formed in 1964 by a small group of early graduates, has grown to represent more than 125,000 alumni with a mission to foster lifelong engagement and a mutually beneficial relationship of alumni and students with UC San Diego.
The Association works to provide alumni with continued access to the resources of the university, communicate UC San Diego news and events, as well as facilitate a network for alumni and student interaction.
For information, please visit

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Friday, February 13, 2009

"DreamBox Learning" personalizes math games for little ones by Jinny Gudmundsen

Hoping to blend education and technology, DreamBox Learning has released its first product: a math game for kindergartners through second graders.

Most math edutainment software drops math drills inside an engaging story line. While fun, this kind of software has been hit or miss when it comes to whether kids learn new math concepts or just revisit ones already mastered.

Now, with DreamBox Learning K-2 Math, parents can offer their youngsters an individualized math curriculum within a game context by just logging onto the Internet. This online learning product looks like an interactive adventure game, but it masks a substantial kindergarten through second-grade math curriculum based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards.

Related link
What educators say

About DreamBox Learning
DreamBox Learning was founded in 2006 in Bellevue, Washington by world-class technologists, educators, interactive entertainment experts, and entrepreneurs who share a collective vision that every child should have access to an individually tailored, Web-based learning experience that is engaging, motivating, and effective. Backed by $7.1 million in angel funding, the company launched a Web-based platform and its first adventure-themed online learning product called DreamBox Learning K-2 Math in early 2009.
The home-based product targets young students in kindergarten through second grade and is designed to reinforce and teach real math through effective, individualized instruction in an engaging and fun manner. DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is based on NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) curriculum recommendations, reflecting lessons taught in the classroom. More information can be found at

DreamBox Learning K-2 Math Product Tour

Jinny Gudmundsen is the editor of Computing With Kids magazine.
Contact her at


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Article in The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL)

Please be sure to check out this paper, appears in the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning.
Date of publishing 09.02.2009.

On-Line Course Curricula and Interactional Strategies: The Foundations and Extensions to Adult e-Learning Communities
By Dr. Christopher Chaves

The purpose of this article is to provide researchers and, in particular, practitioner-scholars of e-learning curricular designs and instructors with one conceptual model that supports more involvement and interaction within on-line courses.

The On-line Curriculum Interaction Model posited by the author is informed by the foundational philosophical, theoretical, research-based results, and professional experience (i.e., Blackboard, WebCT, eCollege) about on-line learning and interactional strategies designed to create community and better transfer of learning among adult learners.
Specifically, four levels of interaction stages are explored to describe ascending levels of interaction including initial course content (academic) involvement, student-peer interaction, and instructor-student interaction within various on-line learning community e-contexts, for workplace application.

Source: The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning (EURODL)

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Mandatory online education is in your child's future by Andrea Hermitt

In New Jersey high schools, there are new requirements that all students take advanced math, science and language courses in order to graduate. They are also considering a required online course.

Other school districts are past just considering it.

  • In Michgan, students have had to take at least one online class to graduate since 2006.
  • Alabama students adopted the requirement in 2008.
  • Florida and Idaho have full scale online curriculums (that are geared mostly toward students who would prefer to work from home and are in competition with the homeschool movement.)



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SMARTer Kids Foundation of Canada now accepting applications

The SMARTer Kids Foundation of Canada is now accepting applications from 6th grade teachers in the U.S. and Canada for the 2009-2010 Connections program, a fully-funded collaborative learning program for 6th grade classes in the U.S. and Canada.

8 classes will be equipped with new classroom technology to help undertake collaborative projects between schools. Once accepted into the program, teachers participate in online professional development sessions and work to plan collaborative projects for the year. Participating schools also receive an AirLiner wireless slate, a Senteo interactive response system and a 2-year subscription to Bridgit conferencing softeare and SMART Ideas concept-mapping software to help them collaborate on projects.

Deadline: Applications must be received by midnight MST on March 31st. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 28th.
Activities for the program will begin in July.

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Cell Phones - Time to Lift the Ban on Mobiles in the School Setting?

Editor Tom Hanson, has published an excellent post about Cell Phones - Time to Lift the Ban on Mobiles in the School Setting?

Thomas Hanson writes, "Needless to say, the general consensus regarding cell phones and schools is that the two simply do not mix. However, a new study from across the pond gives strong indication that schools should give greater consideration to putting these handheld mobile devices to work.

Mobile Phones and Learning in Secondary Schools

However, Elizabeth Hartnell-Young and Nadja Heym of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Nottingham recently released a research report that would seem to contradict that current viewpoint.
While How mobile phones help learning in secondary schools may not be a ringing endorsement of cell phone use for educational purposes, it certainly offers an interesting take on the potential use of these mobile devices to enhance the educational setting.
The study followed teachers in three schools who began exploring ways to use students’ personal phones as well as additional borrowed smart phones. Though in each case there were existing school policies banning mobile phones in class, students were given permission to use cell phones for a wide array of activities.

Related link
The report are available in word format and in PDF.

Source: Open Education

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Free Brandon Hall Research Webinars

Multi-Generational Learning in the Workplace: Overview and Instructional Design Considerations
Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S. & Canada) (GMT - 05:00)

Do generational differences impact instructional strategies, or is it just hype?

Janet Clarey, author of the Brandon Hall Research report “Multi-Generational Learning in the Workplace,” will host a discussion of multi-generational learning and instructional design considerations with a focus on the following questions:

  • What similarities and differences exist in different generations?
  • What do we need to consider when designing instruction?
  • What does existing research say about generational issues and instructional design?

Related link
A Brandon Hall Research Blog Janet Clarey
Register to attend this event

Brandon Hall Research is pleased to partner with Saba as a technology provider for this Webinar series.

More information about Saba Centra

Enjoy the event!

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Thirsty for knowledge on social networks and information systems?

Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective concentrates on strategies that exploit emerging technologies for the knowledge effectiveness in social networks. This comprehensive book delivers an excellent mix of information for readers and is a must for those thirsty for knowledge on social networks and information systems.

The book Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective has three main goals:
1) To promote the state of the art on Social software exploitation for Interactive Learning Environments as a milestone enabled by the evolution of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches;
2) To provide a reference edition for the area with main emphasis to be paid on social network analysis for Learning;
3) To become a reference edition for people (policy makers, government officers, academics and practitioners) thirsty for knowledge on Social Software for Learning.

Janet Clarey writes, "Information Science Reference recently published a book by Miltiadis Lytras from the University of Patras, Greece, Robert Tennyson from the University of Minnesota, USA, and Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos, from the Universidad de Oviedo, Spain called Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective."

Related links
Download via scribd
Knowledge Networks: The Social Software Perspective (Premier Reference Source)

Knowledge Networks

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eSchool News Online!

Several events planned to commemorate the man whose theory of natural selection changed science forever.
It's well known that Charles Darwin's groundbreaking theory of evolution made many people furious because it seemed to contradict the Biblical view of creation.

But few know that it also created problems for Darwin at home with his deeply religious wife, Emma.
Darwin held back the book to avoid offending his wife, said Ruth Padel, the naturalist's great-great-granddaughter. "She said he seemed to be putting God further and further off," Padel said in her north London home. "But they talked it through, and [Darwin's wife] said, ‘Don't change any of your ideas for fear of hurting me.'"
The 1859 publication of "On the Origin of Species" changed scientific thought forever--and generated opposition that continues to this day. It is this elegant explanation of how species evolve through natural selection that makes Darwin's 200th birthday on Feb. 12 such a major event.


Related links
Natural History Museum, London
Take a look inside The Darwin Centre

Source: eSchool News

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Distance-møder får mere liv af Annette Sand

It-firma har reduceret rejseaktiviteten og gjort distance-møderne mere personlige med online møder, der kombinerer lyd, video og en platform til at dele og vise dokumenter.

Detaljerne. Ansigtsudtryk. Og fokus. Når der står ekspansion på dagsordenen – og blikket er rettet mod udlandet, hvor firmaets mål er at udvide aktiviteterne, så er det vigtigt, at kontakten til de nye partnere rummer mere end ord.
For virksomheden Emediate, der leverer værktøjer til online annoncehåndtering – og startede planerne om en international ekspansion med at etablere et kontor i München og siden nye partneraftaler i Norge, Finland og Lithauen, har det været særdeles vigtigt at kunne holde nogle af møderne og forhandlingerne med lyd, billed og mulighed for at fremvise og dele dokumenter online.
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Samarbejd virtuelt - og spar tid og rejser af Annette Sand


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Monday, February 09, 2009

Designing Asynchronous E-Learning by Ethan Edwards

A primary area of investment in corporate e-learning development is asynchronous learning.
As opposed to traditional instructorled training or even distance learning that centers on teleconferencing and online presentations, asynchronous e-learning occurs in an environment where a single learner interacts directly with content via a technology system, maximizing flexibility in timing and access for the learner by allowing learner control of pace, schedule, and location.

Success factors
While traditional instructional design principles are still central to creating effective e-learning, they are not sufficient in themselves to create learning in an asynchronous learning environment. Arching over traditional design practices is the need to account for the unique requirements of computer-delivered instruction and interaction through three powerful success factors. While these factors actually apply to all learning, they are absolutely essential when designing asynchronous e-learning.


Ethan Edwards Chief Knowledge Officer, Allen Interactions
Ethan has been designing online instruction for almost 25 years, beginning with work at the PLATO laboratory at the University of Illinois, continuing through positions at Authorware, Macromedia, Microsoft, and as a consultant with a host of top companies in the United States and abroad.
As Chief Knowledge Officer at Allen Interactions, a nationally-recognized company dedicated to creating the world's best custom e-Learning applications, Ethan is responsible for internal and external training and communication regarding Allen Interactions' unique perspective on designing and developing meaningful and memorable e-Learning programs. While focused primarily on corporate training, Ethan has comprehensive experience with education and government institutions, having worked extensively in libraries and schools as a full-time consultant with the Lincoln Trail Libraries System in Champaign, IL.
He is also a licensed secondary mathematics teacher. He is the primary instructor for ASTD's Instructional Design for e-Learning certificate course, and has spoken at conferences and private presentations throughout the world.

Source: American Society for Training & Development

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Tech & Learning eNews, February 6, 2009

Tech & Learning eNews is a twice-weekly update brought to you by Tech & Learning and
It features education news and articles and includes a varied collection of tips, advice, grants, and other information designed for anyone in a school or district who integrates technology or supports it for use in classroom instruction or administration. It's delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.
Register for Tech & Learning eNews

Teacher launches TeachPaperless blog.
R. Richard Wojewodzki, a teacher of Latin and Art History at the John Carroll School, has started a new blog to help teachers design and maintain paperless classrooms.
The site went live on February 2, 2009.
The blog is based on Wojewodzki’s experience creating and running a high school classroom in which no paper is used.

All of the students use tablet-PCs for note-taking and creating projects and all tests and quizzes are given via blogs and wikis. Over the course of an academic year, his students create digital portfolios that reflect their work-progress on a day-to-day basis.
The mission is two-fold: to save paper and material resources and to help teachers exploit the dynamic potential of the Internet.

About R. Richard Wojewodzki
Like many artists, avant-garde Baltimore musician and composer Shelly Blake-Plock has got a day job. Between the hours of 7:30AM and 3PM, the Red Room Collective member uses the name written on his birth certificate -- R. Richard Wojewodzki -- as he dons the attire of a fair-mannered Latin and Art History teacher at Bel Air's John Carroll School. He does, however, manage to pull a little of the avant-garde into the classroom.
For he is on the front line of a truly 21st century paradigm shift in education: his classroom is paperless.Shelly has spent the last few years examining the relationships between Green Thinking, Interactive Technology, and Best Practices in the Classroom. Holding degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins, he is a two-time selectee for the National Endownment for the Humanities Faculty Workshops and is a presenter at the 2009 AP Annual Conference on the topic of Blogs and Paperless Classrooms.
He lives in Elkridge, MD with his wife, children, several cats, and a turtle in a little old house where he continues to spend far too much time on the computer and, at least according to the neighbors, still plays his music far too loudly.

Microsoft Semblio lets educators author, assemble, and publish multimedia curriculum.

Microsoft Semblio, formerly known under the codename Grava, is an easy-to-use application for authoring, assembling, and publishing dynamic curriculum in a variety of media including audio, video, text, and animation. Semblio has three components:
A Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers to create and package content.
An assembly tool for educators to combine multiple types of content into a single, multimedia package.
A player that students can use to view and interact with the lessons and presentations.
The Semblio SDK is available now (download for free at, and today, Microsoft is announcing that 12 educational content solution providers including publishers, developers, testing organizations and educational consultants around the world are using the SDK to contribute to the creation and packaging of content solutions for educators.
The assembly tool and media player will be available to educators and students with the next version of Microsoft Office.

Related link
Semblio Community Blog

Source: Tech & Learning

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eSchool News Online

Here's what's new on eSchool News site today.

CyberSmart! offers K-12 schools a research-based curriculum to help prevent cyber harassment
By Meris Stansbury

As cyber bullying becomes more prevalent among students, educators are looking for help in teaching their students about appropriate online behavior. To meet this need, New Jersey-based CyberSmart! Education has released a free, research-based cyber bullying curriculum for K-12 schools.
Developed using best practices from the fields of cyber security, school violence prevention, and character education, the CyberSmart! Cyberbullying Package doesn't rely on fear tactics that have been proven not to work, its creators say.
Instead, it focuses on developing critical thinking and decision-making skills, guiding students to define the problems and issues themselves and take ownership of them to effect real change. "Without this ownership, no behavioral change can occur," CyberSmart! says.


Related links
CyberSmart! Cyberbullying Package

TCEA panel says Web 2.0 marks a complete shift from the old models of instruction ... and schools need to shift accordingly
By Dennis Pierce

In Web 2.0 technologies, schools finally have the optimum tools for learning, said speakers at the 29th annual Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin Feb. 5--but educators must learn to change their approach to instruction to take full advantage of these tools.
In a spirited panel discussion of Web 2.0 technologies and their role in schools, Jim Bower, CEO of the student-focused virtual world Whyville, explained the difference between first-generation online tools and the new tools of today--and why Web 2.0 holds so much promise for education.


Source: eSchool News

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